Children need to learn proper oral care at an early age, and it’s up to their parents to encourage correct behaviors. Remember, your child should visit Dr. Van Wicklen around age one to assess for developmental teeth problems and learn good oral habits.
Children’s Dental Care
Baby teeth fall out, so what’s the point of protecting them? Tooth decay can cause teeth to rot and fall out too early. This leaves holes that the surrounding teeth will drift into, making it difficult for permanent teeth to grow in properly. Visiting the dentist at an early age will provide your children with a good habit of regular checkups and cleanings. Dr. Van Wicklen can show you and your child how to take care of young mouths. You should also lead by example and show your kids how to brush. They can follow what you do and feel like big kids for doing it themselves.
Making Oral Care Fun for Kids
You should begin brushing your child’s teeth with water as soon as they start to erupt. Around age three, your kids can start using a fluoridated toothpaste, but always supervise them to make sure they spit the toothpaste out after brushing. In addition, you can try these tricks to make brushing more fun for your child.
- Fun products: Children’s toothbrushes are available in smaller sizes and with softer bristles to make brushing easier and more comfortable. Brushes are also available in a variety of colors, and can be decorated with favorite cartoons and characters. Allow your child to pick out his or her favorite flavor of toothpaste as well to get him or her excited.
- Rewards: Offer an incentive to encourage your children to brush. You could give them a sticker or small toy each time they brush properly. Another idea: tell your children that you’ll serve their favorite dinner, but only if they brush after eating. Ask your children what prizes will motivate them to brush by themselves.
- Entertainment: Let your child watch TV or listen to music while brushing. This will encourage him or her to brush for the recommended three-minute time limit. It also distracts kids so they can associate brushing with entertainment and having fun.
Visit Dr. Van Wicklen to keep your child’s smile healthy. Contact our dentist office in Austin, Texas, at (512) 448-3131 to schedule an appointment to help keep your body and smile safe.